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Monitors – The War Office

When your EP takes it’s name from the nickname of your favourite room in your local pub, you’re definitely sending a message. Taking such an upbeat synth-indie hybrid style when approaching real world topics just adds to the intrigue of The War Office

The Drill, a track filled with a wild mashup of indie rock and synth pop opens the EP. With some wild drum arrangements, and a borderline club bop style that falls into the feel of some very out there territory. It’s a wild ride despite being just the start, but it serves as something that catches the attention with it’s unique beat and soundscape. 

Roses and Wine is a bit more traditional with it’s slower pace and more safe composition. A strong bass rhythm setting up a track laden with percussion and synth, there’s this very simple delivery. Everything melds together to make one backing track where nothing steps forward to take the lead. Instead it lets the vocals stand out front alone, accentuating the lyrics with flourishes and backing vocals. It’s cohesive and direct but doesn’t carry as much life and style as the opening track. 

Lying directly in the middle, Previously… is once again a departure from the preceding songs. It’s a spaced out sounding, synth wave song with some rhythm guitar thrown in to add some much needed substance to the gentle synth notes. There’s this space age styling to Previously… and it really leans into it consistently and sticks to it up to its slightly abrupt ending. 

Terms & Conditions takes more of the indie trappings whilst still putting in some of the more wild synth elements. The use of a full drum kit helps to push the indie feel and it helps ground it when put up against Previously…

Despite the use of a more classic band arrangement, there’s still a strong push to add this thick atmosphere with all the backing instruments and noises. 

Bloody Mary is a much harsher closing track, with a more wild drum arrangement taking up a strong presence in as the main backing instrument. Coupled with an intense evolution to building up the drums to a crashing beat by the end. But similar to Previously… it leaves you with an abrupt end when it feels like there should be more. 

Overall that’s The War Office’s biggest issue. It builds these huge sound filled tracks that have a lot of presence, atmosphere, and passion, but Monitors seem to struggle to closing them out. Instead, there are some moments where the songs just seem to have nowhere left to go, or like there was no real idea on how to close the song out. It lacks crescendos in places to really drive home the points being made. Whilst strong in composition, and musicianship, the overall package lacks some kind of oomph or x factor outside of its incredible opening track.